Altior is in line to be crowned jumps king as the national hunt season ends at Sandown Park on Saturday afternoon.
The dual Queen Mother Champion Chase hero seeks his second career win in the bet365 Celebration Chase and, assuming he maintains his unbeaten record over, he’ll eclipse Big Buck’s and become the first horse to win 19 races on the trot over jumps! With Cyrname absent, the stage is Altior’s.
Paul Nicholls will be crowned champion trainer after reclaiming his crown from Nicky Henderson and he can celebrate with the first winner of the Sandown finale.
He has progressed nicely this season over hurdles with three wins on his record from six goes after a tame start at Chepstow. Since then Getaway Trump has only met defeat in Graded company against some of the top novices of his class. Nicholls returned him to novice company this month up at Ayr and he duly dismissed his rivals with abandon.
He’s just 5lb higher than when fourth in the competitive Betfair Hurdle in February and with Sandown likely to play to his strengths, further success beckons for Getaway Trump with the confident Harry Cobden (21% strike-rate lately) on board.
Neil Mulholland‘s charge won this race in 2016 and is fancied for another big run off a 5lb lower mark now. The Young Master has been in excellent shape this season, winning his first two outings at Chepstow and Cheltenham before a disappointing day at Newbury in the Ladbrokes Trophy.
The soft ground was against him in the contest, not for the first time seeing his hopes scuppered in the big winter handicap. He bounced back off a break with a fine run behind Any Second Now in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham last month and, with decent ground to boot, he should go well in this.
Things haven’t worked out for Tom George’s charge this season as a chaser, seemingly lacking the courage for the bigger obstacles, but he was a Grade One-winning novice over timber last season and can get back on track here.
He ran well in the Cleeve Hurdle over three miles in January and, understandably, found last month’s Stayers’ Hurdle back at Cheltenham too hot.
That stamina will come to his aid here up the stiff Sandown finish over 2m5f. If he can recapture the form he showed at Aintree last spring, this could be his afternoon following a relatively disappointing season.